Quick Facts

Physical Impairment – Spina Bifida
How acquired
Date of Birth
November 28, 1984
Highton, VIC
Accountant and motivational speaker
Started Competing
First Competed for Australia
Games Experience

Athens 2004, Beijing 2008, London 2012, Rio 2016


Heinz Frei, Pat Rafter, Ian Thorpe and Tim Clarke

Career Highlights

Winning gold in the 800m at the London 2012 Paralympic Games

Greatest Moment

Winning his first Paralympic gold at Athens 2004


Richard Colman has always aspired to do his best in everything he pursues. As it happens, his best is world-beating, with the track specialist spearheading the Australian athletics team for over a decade.

The Norwegian-born athlete made his Paralympic debut in Athens, where he won a gold and silver medal in the 800m and 4x100m relay, and set a new Games record in the 800m – achievements which saw him rise to the number one world ranking.

Richard competed in five events at the 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing, and won medals in the 200m and 400m. Although his performance at these Games did not top the gold he won in Athens, Richard says that competing in front of the huge crowds in Beijing remains one of the highlights of his career.

Ahead of London 2012, Richard won gold in the 800m and silver in the 400m at the 2011 IPC Athletics World Championships in Christchurch, New Zealand. That same year, he won three gold medals and one silver at the IUF National Championships, and by the London Games, had returned to his career-best form, winning gold in the 800m and bronze in the 400m and 4x400m relay.

Following the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, where he won silver in the 1500m, Richard took a short break from training. In that time, he became the first person in a wheelchair to complete the ‘Death Road’ in Bolivia, a 64km track which descends 3500m. He returned to action later that month to race against wheelchair marathon king, Kurt Fearnley, in the Sydney Marathon. Richard used this race to help his body return to full training.

At the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio, the OAM recipient competed in two events but did not qualify for either final.

Richard is passionate about all sports, especially AFL, basketball and swimming. He was the first wheelchair AFL goal umpire in the Geelong League and spends his free time coaching and mentoring new and developing wheelchair athletes.

In between all of this, the Highton local also balances successful careers in accounting and motivational speaking.

Sports & Disciplines

  • Sport: Athletics Disciplines: 400m Classification: T53
  • Sport: Athletics Disciplines: 800m Classification: T53
  • Disciplines: 4 x 400m relay Classification: T53